Big wave rider in national spot

2015-09-29 06:00
Local surfer James Lowe’s take on a barrel at Dungeons has made the cover of a magazine.

Local surfer James Lowe’s take on a barrel at Dungeons has made the cover of a magazine.

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A Kommetjie local has made it to the cover of a national surfing magazine after taking on local big waves.

James Lowe graces the cover of October’s Zigzag magazine in an image of him taking on a gigantic barrel at Dungeons outside Hout Bay on the cleanest swell to pass through there in many years.

He was snapped by local photographer Sacha Specker.

“The waves this day were really heavy, but I got one, set my line and just enjoyed the view from inside the monster at Dungeons. I didn’t make it out, but it was worth it just to see the colours and wave from within,” Lowe says.

Dungeons is located right next to a seal colony, with a deep water channel between sheer cliffs of the Sentinel and the reef where the waves break.

“I don’t think any surfer will tell you they feel completely comfortable surfing out there. The waves also break in a large area, so you can get caught inside on a big wave wherever you sit. However, in saying that, it just adds to the sensation when you ride out a massive wave,” he says.

The media coverage has been a confidence boost to Lowe, who has been mentored by some of South Africa’s finest big wave surfers.

“I have never been sponsored so I feel really encouraged that I have been able to get this type of coverage. Of course I have been helped along the way by my parents and by the Cape Town big wave crew, but I hope this will inspire people to follow their dreams despite odds being against them,” he says.

Lowe took to the water at a young age. He started surfing shortly after moving to Cape Town from Knysna at the age of six.

When he was a teenager, Lowe started surfing bigger and better waves.

“My uncle, Simon Lowe, who surfs big waves, encouraged me to paddle out to Sunset Reef a kilometre off Kommetjie Beach. The Redbull BWA was a yearly event at the time, which also inspired me to surf bigger waves. Meeting people who are paid to travel and surf made me think that I could do that one day,” he says.

“Surfing has helped me appreciate nature and probably led me to study geology as a way to explore and work outdoors. Being out in the ocean you get to see some amazing things that would take a lifetime to see again. I have built many friendships through surfing and have probably developed as a person because of it.”

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